07-06-2023 / Will Appenzeller
Onboarding with HubSpot: Setup vs Implementation - what’s the difference?
Blog


Comparing Apples to OrangesKnowing what you get when you’re making a purchase is important, particularly when it is a service that comes with a software that is going to become an integral part of your business. So many businesses invest a significant amount into HubSpot only to pay for basic HubSpot "onboarding" that doesn’t situate them for success. To get the most out of HubSpot, it really has to become deeply integrated into your organization. From marketing to sales to service - the clients we work with that get the most out of HubSpot have really taken the time to dive deeply into the platform and integrate it into every department to unlock the data that they need to make scalable business decisions. 

However, with so many terms floating around - it’s hard for a business starting out on HubSpot or vetting whether HubSpot is the solution for their business to make apples-to-apples comparisons when it comes to the best onboarding solution. 

HubSpot onboarding is a requirement for any customer that purchases a HubSpot license. Onboarding can be purchased through a Certified HubSpot Partner agency or HubSpot. The goal of onboarding is essentially to get your business setup on HubSpot and to familiarize your team with the software as well as identify your key goals. 

The price of onboarding and what each agency includes can vary widely between partners. While it might be tempting to opt for the least expensive solution that gets you setup and onto the platform as quickly as possible, we want to make sure you understand the difference between HubSpot setup and HubSpot implementation - which are completely different, but sometimes both labeled as HubSpot onboarding. 

HubSpot Setup is sometimes just HubSpot technical configuration.

Getting setup properly in HubSpot is one of the most critical factors when it comes to setting yourself up for success. Do it wrong and not only could you foil adoption across your organization and waste lots of money, but you could negatively impact your business’ ability to grow and scale long term, too. Why? HubSpot is a BEAST of a software platform, and in order to best take advantage of it, it’s really ideal to have a HubSpot architect configure your portal in advance of you working within it. He or she will know how HubSpot works, what options and tools are available inside your subscription tier and best guide you on how to set things up so that you can get the best analytics to influence your business processes.

Right now, marketing agencies (many of whom don’t specialize in technical architecture or business process consulting) handle much of what HubSpot and marketing agencies refer to as “onboarding”. When you look at many of their services pages that market “getting you started on the right foot in HubSpot Marketing software” it appears to be a laundry list of comprehensive services. Checkboxes galore indicate 12-20 things they include in their basic HubSpot Onboarding services, often touting that you can save thousands by not going with HubSpot for your onboarding. But what are these items?

Checkbox items like “setup subdomain” or “import contacts” or “install tracking code” or “configure social media connections” are very simple steps that don't require technical skills to complete. If you have a few hours, many people can complete their entire HubSpot setup themselves. It doesn’t require a specialized rocket scientist to do it. What is the more complicated aspect of HubSpot Setup is training and configuration. It’s taking the tools and properties in HubSpot and getting your forms setup so that your contact records actually help your sales staff close deals. It’s managing custom objects in the same way. It’s configuring your workflows and processes inside HubSpot to best match your organization’s workflow and provide you with adequate reporting. If your HubSpot portal isn’t configured properly relative to your business processes by a HubSpot architect, you’ll notice some of the following symptoms: 

Lack of adoption across your organization.

A comprehensive HubSpot implementation includes comprehensive onboarding and training services across departments to help your entire organization embrace HubSpot. We’ll assist in the restructuring of workflows and processes and train your staff to use HubSpot while answering any questions they may have along the way. 

We’ll make sure that service, sales, marketing and operations all work inside HubSpot and understand exactly how to interact with the software, eliminating excuses and providing your other departments with a centralized source of data collection and reporting. Rather than excuses, you’ll be met with enthusiasm from the start. If you've ever implemented a new application inside your organization, you're probably already starting to see the value of a comprehensive HubSpot implementation. 

Sticking with out of the box reports will inhibit your ability to measure ROI

HubSpot reports are great, but they’re not necessarily tailor-made to fit with your organization’s data structure or processes. HubSpot basic setup that you get with a marketing agency might run through some of the reports with you, but it almost never includes setting up custom reports based on the data that you need to make intelligent business decisions.

When you pay for basic HubSpot setup, you’re going to be limited in what your dashboards and reporting provide. You won’t necessarily be able to identify and predict your sales pipeline, understand operational efficiency, or determine which campaigns are truly netting you the most ROI. 

A comprehensive HubSpot onboarding and implementation with a HubSpot Architect will have you going beyond basic reporting. It’ll have you sifting through the noise and into the most important data to pull out the critical pieces of information that help you make intelligent business decisions. 

What are some of the benefits of better reporting? 

  • Operational efficiency.
  • Happier, less frustrated employees.
  • Improved customer experience.
  • Better sales reporting and pipeline predicting.
  • Optimized marketing spend. 

Can you accomplish this without a HubSpot Architect providing custom HubSpot onboarding and implementation? Sure. But you’d never put regular gas in a race car or use a sub-par mechanic to maintain it and still expect to win the race, would you? Getting to the finish line faster than your competition and maintaining your vehicle along the way are the better, more sustainable ways to win in the long term. Apply that logic universally by planning for your implementation with a HubSpot Architect. 

Lacking integration might cause rifts between departments.

Double duty data entry is the worst for a busy employee. When a company blindly adopts a new software without getting the buy-in or executing training and refinement throughout each individual department, chaos can ensue. It can add workload to already overwhelmed departments and cause unnecessary rifts. For example, if an organization buys in to HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional and starts focusing heavily on their marketing without also implementing an integrated CRM solution to funnel data, configure lead scoring and setup contact records properly for the betterment of the sales process - marketing may just blindly be getting leads for sales and wondering why they’re not closing the deal. This is a common issue inside organizations that use HubSpot Marketing Hub and one of the main reasons that HubSpot has launched so many new Hubs since. 

A HubSpot Architect doing a comprehensive implementation will identify where and how you can avoid double data entry with native integrations and reporting configurations or make suggestions for custom integrations where they may be necessary. At minimum, they’re able to inform and educate all departments on expectations and why the additional items or new reports and data entry stand to benefit all departments inside an organization at large. If accounting staff knows, for example, that until a custom integration is completed, they’ll need to update contact records and deal amounts in the software to help optimize total budget spend across the board - they might be less adverse to contributing more to help the company at large be more successful. 

These are the types of things that come up in a customized implementation where training and custom reports and integrations can be discussed and built out or planned for in the future. Getting all departments on the same team when it comes to fully adopting the software into your organization proactively will avoid rifts and situate your organization for better long term integration with HubSpot, which will only improve the amount of data you have to work with. 

Now you know. When you pay a couple thousand dollars for HubSpot “Onboarding” that is really just setup, you shouldn’t expect comprehensive adoption, full employee training and customized configuration and integration into your organization’s processes with structured data planning. You should literally just expect to pay an inflated fee to do some basic technical setup and admin work on the back end. They’ll upload some contacts, configure your subdomains, setup your social media profiles in the social media tool, and do a few other things to make sure you can operate - but it’ll not even come close to situate your business to be truly successful inside HubSpot, particularly if you have multiple Hubs. Paying for a customized HubSpot Implementation should take a few months, be a relatively sizable investment, and pay dividends long term. 

Don’t “onboard” with a marketing company that doesn’t understand complex data architecture or offer truly expert consulting and training with HubSpot. 

hubspot architecture consultant
 

Share this

like what you read?

sign up to get notified with thought nuggets on simplified devspeak, solutions to your website woes and everything HubSpot development by dropping your e-mail below.

recent nuggets of content

How to fall in love with your HubSpot CMS Website Build
How to fall in love with your HubSpot CMS Website Build
Learn more
HubSpot custom theme builder: website woes we’re leaving behind in 2024.
HubSpot custom theme builder: website woes we’re leaving behind in 2024.
Learn more
3 Reasons to Choose a HubSpot CMS theme builder over Boxed Templates
3 Reasons to Choose a HubSpot CMS theme builder over Boxed Templates
Learn more
Google & Yahoo are Tightening their Email Authentication Requirements - here’s what you need to know
Google & Yahoo are Tightening their Email Authentication Requirements - here’s what you need to know
Learn more
How to fall in love with your HubSpot CMS Website Build
How to fall in love with your HubSpot CMS Website Build
Learn more
HubSpot custom theme builder: website woes we’re leaving behind in 2024.
HubSpot custom theme builder: website woes we’re leaving behind in 2024.
Learn more
3 Reasons to Choose a HubSpot CMS theme builder over Boxed Templates
3 Reasons to Choose a HubSpot CMS theme builder over Boxed Templates
Learn more
Google & Yahoo are Tightening their Email Authentication Requirements - here’s what you need to know
Google & Yahoo are Tightening their Email Authentication Requirements - here’s what you need to know
Learn more